Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

By the Staff

MANILA – Saying he is a “good officer” and an “honest one,” President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday defended Police Major General Debold Sinas.

With that, Sinas, who recently found himself in hot water following his “well attended” birthday celebration amid restrictions under the enhanced community quarantine, stays on as Metro Manila’s top cop.

The birthday party that never was drew a lot of flak on social media that came awash with photos of Sinas in surgical mask, the general blowing like a kid his birthday cake, socializing with cops lining up for the buffet table, and then sans their face masks on the round table.

All of the above practically derided whatever meaning that there is in the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases-issued protocol netizens claimed.

But the President trusts so much Sinas whom he appointed last October 10, 2019 NCRPO chief.

“Hindi niya kasalanan kung may magharana sa kanya sa birthday niya. At kung ‘yun namang sabi na nakikita hindi naka-mask, eh siyempre may mga meryenda ‘yan, may pagkain. Alangan namang kainin nila pati ‘yung mask. Di tatanggalin talaga nila,” President Duterte said.

The President added he was sure Sinas would not have allowed the gathering had he known his subordinates were planning a mañanita for him.

And after all is said and done, President Duterte claimed he studied the “merits and demerits” of Sinas’ case and in the end decided he needed the general in his post.

“They are all competent. But you know seniority. It is his time to be there and I do not believe in just firing him because people sang him a birthday song,” Duterte said.

“You’ll say, ‘the law is the law.’ Well, that’s up to me. It’s my responsibility. But I will not order his transfer. He stays there until further orders,” he added.

As early as 18 May 2020, PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa, PNP chief told the media that Sinas will retain his position.

“I hope the public would understand that since we’re here in an emergency situation, if you try to replace him, we will never know. He’s incredibly difficult to replace because he’s behind many programs in relation to COVID,” Gamboa said in an interview over dzMM Teleradyo.

Criminal charges were filed against Sinas along with 18 other cops for violating quarantine rules during a coronavirus lockdown. (ia/

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